Canada Day 2018

Canada Day 2018

Tomorrow is Canada Day and each year I do a wine blog highlighting Canadian wines.  Every year, in my opinion, the selection and quality if wine coming from Canada  just gets better and better.  Here is a prime example.

See ya later ranch

The See Ya Later Ranch Red Blend out of the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia was almost my wine of the week.  This is a blend in every sense of the word,  Comprised of 30% Shiraz, 24% Zinfandel, 18% Petit Verdot, 16% Tempranillo, and 12% Merlot.  This is a flavorful wine and if you’re planning a visit, the vineyard is also extremely dog friendly.  The original owner, Major Hugh Fraser, was not only a dog lover, one of the charities he was very passionate about was the SPCA.  He was also very passionate about wine and started planting grapes on this plot of land in the Okanagan Valley in 1920.  If you’re planning to start the barbecue this weekend, and let’s face it, who isn’t, this is the wine that will go with everything you’re serving this long weekend.  I highly recommend it!

Cab Franc Rose

Apparently a humid mass is supposed to hover over Nova Scotia this long weekend, and temperatures could hit +36-degrees.  That’s hot for here.  A great way to beat the heat, in my opinion, is rose wine, and this one from local producer Benjamin Bridge is a winner!  Cabernet Franc is an elegant red wine, so it comes as no surprise it makes a fantastic rose wine.  The 2016 vintage of this wine also represents Benjamin Bridge’s first  step toward’s its conversion to organic viticulture.  Beautiful flavors of strawberry and oranges, this is a perfect patio wine, and is also extremely food friendly.

And now for my wine of the week….

Mission 5

The reason this particular wine nosed out the See Ya Later Blend as the wine of the week was price point.  From Mission Hill Vineyards in British Columbia, half the grapes from this wine comes from the Osoyoos region and the other half from Oliver BC.  But the Estate Series Cabernet Merlot from Mission Hill represents the finest grapes from the region and this Vineyard.  The name might suggest it only contains Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, however, it also contains small amounts of Petite Verdot and Cabernet Franc.  These 4 grapes make for a spectacular wine, and this wine sells for under $20.  It’s a Bordeaux style blend and Mission Hill has done a wonderful job with this wine.  Grilling a steak this Canada Day weekend?  Try a bottle of this wine, you’ll love it.

Wine Above Average

Here’s to an above average Canada Day Long weekend.  Stay safe and please do not drink and drive.

Till next week, Cheers




Hello Summer!

Wine Summer 2

It was looking iffy for a while, when parts of Canada were getting snow in June, but Summer has finally arrived.  Don’t you just love Summer?  Sunny days, patios, barbecue and great wine. Don’t let anyone tell you a person can’t drink red wine in the Summer, because I’m here to prove them wrong.  Wines like Pinot Noir and Merlot are great Summer wines.  You can serve them slightly chilled, because if it’s 20+ more degrees, you definitely want to cool that wine down a bit.

Speaking of Merlot, here’s a new Merlot I tried this past week.

Roche Merlot

I went to my friend Sandra’s home, because we are watching the Big Little Lies series together.  She bought this to the table Thursday evening.  I really enjoyed it.  It had more structure and it was more tannic than what you would normally think for a Merlot, and the oak was very evident.   I was surprised to discover there was no Cabernet Sauvignon in this wine.  One of the things I will tell you is that this wine is not filtered!  And Sandra got a big mouthful of sediment when we finished the wine.  It hails from the Rhone Valley in France, and would make a good BBQ wine.

Here’s another great red wine perfect for Summer, and it happens to be another new Merlot I tried this past week.


This is the CA Lunghetta Merlot from Italy and it’s a well-structured fruity wine that comes in around the $15 mark.  This is from the Veneto region of Italy, which of course is home to Venice.  Veneto is more known for Prosecco and the Italian Spritzers with Aperol, which I fell in love with while in Italy.  This is a very nice Merlot from Italy and goes great with that Summer pizza, pasta and barbecue fare.

And now for my wine of the week…


I have to tell you about this fantastic new wine I tried last week through Amber at the NSLC and then bought it last night to have with my BBQ ribs.  I love old vine wine, and you see that in Zinfandel a lot.  Well the Montgo Monastrell comes from old vines and it is breathtakingly good.  This wine definitely focuses on the fruit, as it has only seen 6 months aging in subtle French oak.  Just long enough to enhance the smoothness without the oak being dominant.  Montgo, means mountainous, and the grapes were hand-picked which is very unusual for a wine that sells here for $19.  Monastrell is the Spanish grape variety also known as Mourvedre in France.  Recommend for Summer!

Wine Summer

Whatever is in your glass this Summer, enjoy it!  Our Summers seem so short here in Canada, enjoy it while you can.

Till next week, Cheers



Fun Wine Tasting Part 2


Last week I was telling you about the fun wine tasting I facilitated last Friday night.  Last  weeks wine blog covered the sparkling, the white and the rose wine that we enjoyed!   This week I would like to tell you about some of the red wines we enjoyed.


The first red wine was from Portugal featuring a grape I had tried the previous evening for the first time,  Trincadeira.  Although I was trying it for the very first time, apparently it is the oldest and most planted grape variety in Portugal!   This wine comes in at the $20 mark, is very smooth, with my only complaint being it doesn’t have a very long finish.   Many people in the room thought the same way, that is soon as you swallow the wine, the flavour was gone from your pallet.  Still an easy to drink wine for $20!


The Moma Red  was probably the clear winner among the crowd for the evening.   Everyone loved this wine.  This easy to drink wine is a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and is a surprising $20.  When Umberto Cesari set out to make quality wine in a region known for quantity, not quality, some people thought he was crazy.   But he did make quality wine and this is definitely one of them.

Here is my wine of the week…


I can’t believe I forgot to take a picture of the actual wine bottle, but here it is with wine critic James suckling’s 97 point rating!   This is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petite Verdot, Sangiovese and Syrah.  Full-bodied, yet balanced.  We drank it fairly young, and it has lots of room for cellaring to drink in the future.  At $78, it’s a treat and if  you want to start a cellar collection, this is a great starting wine!


I get asked all the time how long you can save a wine once it’s opened   Here is a great chart to help you.

Till next week, cheers





Wine Tasting Fun Part 1


Last night I facilitated another wine tasting, and it was my second one with this fun group.  I really enjoy doing wine tastings with this particular group of people  because I believe I have found people who love wine as much as I do!  Now that’s something!


We had 27 enthusiastic wine drinkers at this event and we had a lot of fun trying some new wines, with some clear favourites.


Lightfoot and Wolfville

The first wine on the menu, was one I’ve written about before.  It’s the 100% organic Lightfoot and Wolfville   Rose wine made right here in Nova Scotia, Canada.  This is one of my favorite rose wines, and it’s how we kick-started the evening.  Rose is a great appetizer wine and the social group had laid out wonderful charcuterie boards around the room, with cheese, meats and crackers.  This wine went very well with the food, but someone also pointed out it’s a great patio wine for the Summer.  It’s only $20 and will probably sell out before end of Summer.


Kung fu Riesling

Here’s another wine that went well with the charcuterie foods.  The  Kung Fu Riesling from Washington State, a delicious Riesling that is just $23 a bottle.   I believe this Riesling surprised a few people because many people were expecting a Riesling to be super sweet  Riesling, as my regular readers know, is my favorite wine to pair with spicy food, Thai food, and Chinese cuisine .  This particular Riesling is not overly sweet and has a wonderful acidity with nice citrus flavors on the palate.

As we come to the end of the whites, this was my wine of the week…

Villa de Conchi

Here’s a new wine I haven’t written about before, and one of the clear favourites of the night.  Villa di Conchi sparkling Cava from Spain is such an easy to drink sparkling wine.   We are entering lobster season here in Nova Scotia and this would be a great wine to pair with shellfish.   It can be challenging to find a cool climate in Spain but the section where these grapes are grown are surrounded by the Montserrat Mountains, and cool climate makes for some great Cava. This sparkling wine was very crisp and refreshing on the pallet and it didn’t have that biscuit aftertaste.  I loved it, and at $17.99 it is an amazing sparkling wine done in the traditional method.  It also comes in a beautiful gift box and would make an amazing gift.

Wine Fear

Next week I will share the reds we enjoyed, including a red that someone shared with the group from Tuscany, and a dessert wine done different

Till next week, Cheers



Sunshine, Horse Races & Wine


This past week I was in Prince Edward Island for our annual Maritime sales conference.  It entailed lots of sunshine, lots of learning, a trip to the horse races and copious amounts of wine!  Good times!


It was my first time betting on horse racing and I have to say we all had a lot of fun.   I work with an amazing group of people and I always look forward to these few days away with my colleagues .

Now let’s talk about some wine …


This was my first time trying this Merlot out of Chile.  I didn’t buy it at our NSLC store,  but I bought it at a boutique wine store here in Halifax called The Rockhead. Where ever you live, you may have to Google it, to see where this wine is available.  When I first purchased this wine I didn’t realize how prominent the Maola name was in Chile.   The partners of this Vineyard own three others, and have over 35 years experience making and exporting wine out of Chile.    I think they did a great job on this Merlot, its juicy with great texture.   Along with some bold fruit flavours, there is also nice spicy notes on the palate, which will make it a great wine to accompany your next BBQ.   And it’s only $15 a bottle which makes it a great value .

And now for my wine of the week…


This was a wine I have been saving and yes, you are seeing the name Rothschild.   Château Lafitte Rothschild has been the #1 rated vineyard in France since the Paris Expo in 1867.  The name Rothschild has even been known to date back to 1224 when the monks were making wine in France.   The cheapest bottle of Château Lafitte Rothschild to be found here in Nova Scotia is $1400, and they go up from there.   You read that right, one thousand four hundred dollars.  Not a typo!  You can imagine what a treat it was to find this bottle, a partnership between  Chateau Lafitte Rothschild and the late Dr. Rupert  Anton of South Africa.  This Cabernet Sauvignon out of South Africa is an incredible value.  This 2012 vintage is perfect to drink now, it’s elegant, full-bodied and has hints of roasted coffee.   And you get to taste a bit of Rothschild for just $35 a bottle, so I think this is an affordable  treat!


I am conducting a winetasting next Friday night, I’m really looking forward to trying some new wines with this group.   I’ll be sure and share those experiences with you next Saturday

Till next week, Cheers